Dogfoodable Core Apps

Over the course of the year we have been seeing fantastic progress with Ubuntu and our convergence story. This includes eight carriers in the Carrier Advisory Group, strong interest from hardware manufacturers, significant coverage from press and at shows such as CES/MWC, and an explosion of participation in people writing apps for Ubuntu Touch.

The engineerings team has also been making steady and significant progress on the road to October to have a first cut of the platform available for phones, and a core piece of this work is our Core Apps project.

The Core Apps project is where our community are working on the core applications that we hope to ship as part of the phone. This includes a Calendar, Music Player, Clock, Calculator, Weather App, Sudoku, RSS Reader, File Manager, Document Viewer, Terminal, Dropping Letters game, and a Stock Ticker.

With each of these projects we have been working with our community developers to ensure they have as much support and help to build these apps, and ensuring that our design team are hooked in to provide beautiful designs to help make each of these apps look crisp, consistent, and sleek. Many, many thanks to all of our wonderful contributors who have been driving these apps forward.

Delicious, Delicious, Dogfood

Back in May we had an effort to get Ubuntu for phones to a point where we could use it as a daily driver, to eat our own dogfood if you will. Although we don’t expect the first iteration of the phone to be ready until October, getting it ready as a daily driver helped to expose the system to more people and therefore find more bugs and edge cases that needed resolving. This project was successful and many of us are using the phone as our main handset now; I certainly am. :-)

We would now like to do this for our core apps, to set a goal to have them ready as a daily driver by the end of July. We reached out to the development teams earlier this week and raised this goal as part of the team meetings for each app and the wider teams are supportive of this effort.

Now, many of these applications are pretty much already there, but some others need more work. As usual, I have asked my team to provide as much help and guidance to our contributors for us to achieve this goal, and based on an assessment of the applications as they stand today, this goal is very achievable.

How It Will Work

To get started we created this page to track the Core Apps dogfooding work. The page lists the core features that we think most people will need to use the apps on the daily basis for basic requirements. For those features that are already there we have specified this next to each feature.

We are going to be working with the developers as part of these projects to help achieve this goal, and if you have experience of working with QML, we would love you to participate too. Just drop me an email and I will get you connected to the team.

Anybody can participate in dogfooding the Core Apps though, all you have to do is use them. You don’t need to be a developer, you don’t need to know anything about porting or compiling or packaging. Just fire up one of the apps, on a supported device or on your desktop, and start using it for your daily activities.

The most important thing you can do while dogfooding is to find and report any bugs you find. It’s important to provide as much detail as possible in your bug report, including screenshots and device information, and describing the steps to reproduce the bug. You can find guidance for how to report this bugs by reading this page.

Once again, thankyou to everyone helping to make our core apps a success and we are excited to see the progress made throughout the month. Thanks, everyone!

  • Michael Huff

    Can you think of a better term than “dogfooding”? That’s kind of gross.

  • Colin Griffith
  • Israel

    You guys should really make this available in a PPA for 12.04, that would immensely help developers who want to work on the LTS. I think supporting 12.04 is much more important than 12.10. (At least to me) I suppose I could use a VM, but that wouldn’t be very useful for daily activities.

  • Phil Leaper

    Cool, might be time for me to pick up a Nexus 7

  • Ingo Gerth

    Doesn’t make it a good term. Also, it’s slang, and only a common term in closed circles like IT. The general public won’t get it, and will think it’s gross.

  • Guest


  • Anonymous

    the general public does not install PPAs, and hack their phones.

  • Anonymous

    yum yum

  • Anonymous

    Good feedback, Israel. Michael Hall runs the Core Apps PPA; I will see if he can create 12.04 builds.

  • Anonymous

    I am not sure debating “dogfooding” is the best use of our time. Let’s spend our time actually getting the apps ready by the end of the month. :-)

  • Michael Huff

    LOL! It is pretty funny.

  • Fitoschido

    (Via Nick Skaggs)

  • Israel

    Thank you!!!

  • Nikos Vasilakis

    Another idea would be “champaigndrinking” from “Drinking your own champaign” or “icecreaming” from “Icing your own cream” 😛

  • Michael Huff

    Dude, you just made it even worse! LOL!

  • David Planella

    The core apps should now be installable in Ubuntu 12.04. Enjoy! :)

  • Israel

    Not quite yet…

    $sudo apt-get install touch-coreapps Reading package lists… Done Building dependency tree Reading state information… Done Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable distribution that some required packages have not yet been created or been moved out of Incoming. The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies: touch-coreapps : Depends: dropping-letters but it is not going to be installed E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

    :( Maybe tomorrow??